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How to Get Rid of an Inferiority Complex

Three Parts:Confronting Your FeelingsChanging The Way You ThinkMaking Positive Steps

Anyone in the world, big or small, fat or thin, black or white, can feel somewhat inferior to everyone else at times during their lives. We tell ourselves that we aren't good enough, pretty enough or smart enough, but these comments are in no way based on facts. Luckily, there are lots of simple steps you can take to overcome an inferiority complex.

Part 1
Confronting Your Feelings

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    Try to find the cause of your feelings. Inferiority complexes may come from something in your past. To help you move past it, you need to determine the root of your feelings. It may be a bad childhood experience, a traumatic event, or a combination of people putting you down over the years.
    • Reflect on your past. Try to remember experiences that could have caused the inferiority complex. Some of these might be buried deep because of how painful they are.[1]
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    Determine who you feel inferior to. If you have an inferiority complex, then you feel inferior to someone else. Ask yourself who you feel inferior to. Try to be as specific as possible, or start broad and narrow it down.
    • Do you feel inferior to attractive people? People with more money? Smarter people? Successful people? Try to go from one of those to a specific name of someone in your life.
    • When you figure that out, ask yourself how those people or that person isn't superior to you. Can he play the piano like you? Does he have your work ethic? Your caring attitude? Your family values?[2]
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    Break down your complex. One way to start dealing with the complex is to break it down. Start with characteristics that you feel inferior about. Look at them logically, not emotionally. Are your perceived flaws that bad? If the answer is still yes, remember that everyone has traits they would like to improve. What you see as a flaw may not seem like on to someone else. No one may notice your large chin although it's all you ever think about. You may think your baldness is a flaw, while some people find bald men sexy.
    • Your perceived flaws do not control you. Even if you have a large chin, are overweight, or are bald, that doesn't define you. That's one small part of you. It only controls and defines you if you let it.[3]
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    Understand that we're all inferior in some ways. Everyone on earth is inferior to someone in some way. There isn't one person who has everything. Although someone may be the most beautiful and rich person, there will be someone with more intelligence or more compassion. On the flip side, everyone is superior to others in some way. Everyone is a different combination of positive attributes and flaws. Understanding this concept can help you start to view yourself more realistically.
    • Since everyone has flaws, this is not a reason for a complex. The over-exaggeration of your flaw and the self-consciousness you develop because of it causes the feelings of inferiority. The inferiority is made up and in your head.[4]

Part 2
Changing The Way You Think

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    Stop wanting to be like others. Inferiority complexes are rooted in the desire to be just like someone else. They make you want to be someone you're not. If you try to be someone else, you aren't being true to yourself. This doesn't include limiting yourself and trying new things. Just don't try to be someone else. Be you.
    • You can get inspired by people. That means you look up to them and take some of their traits and put them into yourself. But the important difference is you are still you. You aren't trying to copy someone else or be someone else. You are using them as a positive guide while still being true to yourself.[5]
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    Try not to worry about what others think. Inferiority complexes arise from our constant concern about what others think about us. We oftentimes find problems with ourselves based on if others find us good enough. This isn't healthy thinking. Stop worrying so much about what others think about you. Only your opinion matters.[6]
    • Sometimes these judgments are real, but many times they are imaginary. Focus on making yourself happy without worrying about what others think. And try not to make up people's judgments.
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    Focus on your positive attributes. When you feel inferior, you put more emphasis on what you don't have instead of what you do have. Everyone has positive qualities. Take an honest look at yourself and your life. Make a list of good things. It could be something like, "I have a good job with lots of room to grow" or "I have nice teeth." When you're done, think about how many good things you have going for you. It might not make you better than someone else, but you don't have to be better. You just have to be happy being you and be thankful for what you have.[7]
    • Include things from all facets of your life. Maybe you think you're overweight, but you have nice legs, nice feet, or nice hands. Maybe you have a great family, smart children, a good education, drive a nice car, or can crochet well. There are a lot of things that make us up. Try to find the positive things and focus on that.
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    Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. People with inferiority complexes spend too much time comparing themselves to everyone around them. If you do this, you will come up with a never ending list of ways people are better than you. You can't compare yourself to someone else, because everything about your life and circumstances are different - from the family you were born in, to your genetics, to your opportunities.[8]
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    Don't think in absolutes. Inferiority complexes make us think that if one thing could change, our lives would be great. We might think, "If only I was 20 pounds smaller, my life would be great" or "If only I had a better job, I'd be happier." If you achieve these things, they will only provide temporary happiness, because deep down you will still be insecure. Material and superficial things, which many inferiority complexes thrive on, won't magically fix the problem. Try to retrain your thinking from "If only...then I'd be happy." It can lead to more disappointment when it doesn't make you happy.[9]
    • Focusing on the strengths, values, and positive assets you posses now is much more fulfilling. Learning to accept these things can help you move towards a happier life.
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    Stop negative talk. Every day, you reinforce your inferiority complex by speaking negatively about yourself. When you say things like, "He doesn't like me because I'm ugly" or "I won't get this job because I'm not smart enough," you are bringing yourself down and writing more negative, untrue beliefs onto your brain. When you find yourself saying something negative, stop it and say something positive instead.[10]
    • You don't have to lie to yourself and say, "He will love me because I'm the most beautiful." Instead, speak about yourself in positive, realistic terms. "I am attractive/worthy of someone's affections. I am a kind, generous person who people want to be friends with."
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    Build self-confidence. As you work through your inferiority complex, you need to start building self-confidence. Start by fixing your mental image of yourself. Inferiority complexes are based on false ideas about ourselves. Try to remind yourself that this image is false and doesn't portray the reality.
    • Remove labels you have attached to yourself. Don't think of yourself as stupid, ugly, unsuccessful, a failure, or anything else. Refuse to use them when you think about yourself.[11]

Part 3
Making Positive Steps

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    Don't limit your social interactions. Inferiority complexes can result in you becoming withdrawn, anti-social, and shy. People with these complexes sometimes fear exposing themselves and opening up. You need to push yourself to interact with people. These feelings of inferiority are in your mind. The more you socialize with other people, the more you'll understand that people aren't judging you, making fun of you, or putting you down. You can learn to be comfortable and confident around people.[12]
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    Surround yourself with positive people. The people we associate with can have a significant impact on our self-esteem. If you spend your time with negative people who are constantly criticizing, analyzing, and judging others, it will start to affect you. Instead, spend your time with people who are positive. Look for people who accept and like people without judgment. Surrounding yourself with people who don't judge you can help you accept yourself.[13]
    • Although your confidence should come from yourself, it is helpful to be friends with people who accept you. This helps break down the false notion that everyone judges and criticizes you.
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    Continue working on yourself. One way to beat the feelings of inferiority is to continuously improve yourself. This can include anything. Work on developing work-related skills, try a new hobby, work on improving a current hobby, set an exercise goal, or start saving for that dream vacation. Work on making your life better and worthwhile. This will help lessen your feelings of inferiority, because it's hard to feel inferior when you're accomplishing your goals.[14]
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    Volunteer. One way to help you get a reality check is to get out and help other people and your community. Whether you are helping at a soup kitchen or an animal hospital, this can help you see the reality of your situation. You don't have it as bad as you think you do.
    • Volunteering can help give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. This can help you feel less inferior because you are giving back to your community. It also helps you stop feeling low and feeling like a burden.[15]
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    Confront your biggest fears. Do you think people will stare at you or make comments? These are all valid worries but do bear in mind - everyone is different. Any comments you receive are invalid and must be ignored at all costs. It's absolutely certain there is something they think is wrong with them, too.


  • Never listen to anyone who puts you down.
  • Never refer to your differences as inferiorities.
  • Believe in yourself; you are special.
  • Concentrate on your strong and positive qualities.
  • You're special, love yourself. Every single person enter into this world is wonderful in his or her own way.
  • Remember, you are not alone—or that different.

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Categories: Overcoming Shyness & Insecurities